N.B. Thank you very much MaTT for the guest blog entry yesterday!
As you probably are not aware, I am a semi-avid gamer. Some of my past favorites include Dark Age of Camelot, Final Fantasy VII, FFX, Diablo, Diablo 2, City of Heroes, Star Wars Galaxies, Starcraft, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, Soul Caliber II, and the list goes on. If you don't recognize these titles, no worries, game knowledge is not a prerequisite here.
However, I like to think that I was part of the generation of computer-users that grew up with the first person shooter (FPS) genre. These are three-dimentsional games that put you in the role of a guy (or gal) with a gun (or other weapon, e.g. a chainsaw) and provide you with floors or levels which you are to explore and find the exits from, annihilating all the baddies in the process, whether they be misguided soldiers or alien creatures from Hell.
Ostensibly, the first of the FPS games was Wolfenstein 3D. Then came Doom, which revolutionized the genre with its advances in graphics and gameplay. A few years later, Quake did much the same, providing a truly 3-D environment with layered floors and non-rectuangular corners. On August 3rd of this year, id Software released Doom 3 upon the world, another revolutionary title in what has increasingly become an aging and unprogressive field of games. (Here's a Slashdot post offering a history of the DOOM franchise in the words of the folks at id Software.)
Doom 3, quite frankly, scares the shit out of me. The environment you play in is creepy. There's no other way to describe it. After Hell breaks loose (literally) in the game, you turn to a security monitor only to watch a monster rip up some of your comrades. Then, as you start fighting your way out, you hear com-chatter over the radio, things like "Holy shit! What is that thing?" followed by gunfire, screams and gurgling noises. Tack on the fact that the rooms you move through are very, VERY dark. Yes, you have a flashlight, but you can't hold the flashlight and a gun at the same time. Then the occasional monster pops up in front of you as your slowly exploring and, well, you get the picture. For an amazing and accurate video showing Doom 3, check out the PC trailer (under Media) at the Doom 3 Official Site.
Traditionally I haven't been a huge fan of FPS games. I've played some Quake III Arena but not that much nor that often. Doom 3 is just too good. I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far. If your computer is able to run the game (the system requirements are VERY high), I HIGHLY recommend you check it out. At $55, this one's a steal! Kudos to id Software for producing the next big thing.